Offgrid Survival WikiHow Fail: “How to Escape Dangerous Forest Animals”
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The Internet is an extremely useful resource for any survivalist, since it provides more information than you could possibly hope to absorb in an entire lifetime. You can learn about virtually any topic, from fire-starting to astrophysics, and most of the time you won't have to spend a cent to do so. Unfortunately, there's one major drawback: misinformation. On the Internet, anyone can share their unfounded theories, and it becomes difficult to distinguish truth from fiction.
Sites with crowdsourced or user-submitted content are especially vulnerable to the spread of myths and misinformation. WikiHow is one such example. On one hand, it's a great source for illustrated DIY guides, such as How to Make a 550 Paracord Bracelet. On the other hand, it's packed with ridiculously inaccurate or obvious guides (e.g. How to Make a Glass of Ice Water). It's up to the reader to filter and fact-check this content.
Recently, we came across a WikiHow article on How to Escape from Dangerous Forest Animals. Since it's a topic we've written about in the past, we decided to check it out, and we're glad we did. Surprisingly, there is some accurate information to be found, such as avoiding eye contact with animals and slowly backing away to safety. Unfortunately, there's also a lot of confusing, inaccurate, and outright hilarious misinformation. Here are a few of our favorite examples:
This photo's WikiHow caption recommends “backing away diagonally”, but the illustration appears to show a man jogging directly past an alarmed bear. Needless to say, you should never turn your back on a bear. Running away is also a bad idea, as later stated in the very same WikiHow article.
Keeping your voice down around a gorilla — good idea. Turning your back on a 300-pound highly territorial and intelligent wild animal — bad idea.
The WikiHow article recommends running in zigzags to avoid crocodiles. This is a complete falsehood, but don't take our word for it. Alligator expert Frank Mazzotti told the L.A. Times, “Run away in a straight line. Everything you hear about running in a zigzag line is untrue.” MythBusters even busted this zigzag myth on national TV.
Easy there, Count Dracula. It's not socially acceptable to suck victims' blood in broad daylight. Seriously though, it's true that sucking venom out of a snakebite wound is a waste of time, so we'll give the author some credit for this one.
We'll leave you with the crown jewel of this article: an illustration of someone punching a cougar in the face. Unless you're Chuck Norris, please don't try this at home.
If you need a good laugh, check out the rest of the article on WikiHow.